Liverpool Blitz: Trekkers

For the thousands of people who had lost their homes in air raids, who lived in particularly vulnerable areas or who were not happy using shelters, 'trekking' was an alternative. It meant travelling, often on foot, to the rural areas on the outskirts of the city, pushing prams, handcarts and trolleys loaded with the last of their belongings.

An incendiary bomb causes a fire
An incendiary bomb causes a fire at Lodge Lane rope works (notice how long the sheds are). 4 September 1940
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Places like Formby, Huyton, Norris Green, Ormskirk and Dovecot were popular with trekkers, who slept in church halls, schools and even under hedges and in woods. One night 6000 people arrived in Maghull. This huge arrival every night put enormous strain on the visited villages, and rest centres soon had to limit themselves to genuinely homeless people.

A poster describing Nazi war aims
A poster describing what were thought to be the Nazi's war aims.
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The next morning trekkers collected their belongings and made the long journey back to the city centre. It was noted that trekkers lost as little work time as any one who stayed in the city.


Visit the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester which focuses on how war shapes lives.